The Next Chapter: Detroit Policy Conference Grows


More than 800 people are registered for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Policy Conference, to be held Thursday at the MotorCity Casino Hotel, up from the 600 attendees last year. The growth is reflective of growing interest in Detroit’s turnaround, a new mayor, and a new city council, say officials from the Chamber.

“(The conference is) definitely growing,” says James Martinez, director of communications for the Chamber, which has more than 3,600 members. “This event focuses on Detroit’s next chapter, and there’s a lot of interest and momentum in the city’s revitalization.”

Based on feedback, the agenda focuses on the city as a whole — from the central business district to the neighborhoods. “The progress and investment in downtown is important, but we’ve also got to work and expand that dialogue in the neighborhoods,” Martinez says.

In one panel session, called “The City Speaks: Revitalizing Detroit’s Neighborhoods,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Bill Pulte, founder and chairman of the Detroit Blight Authority, will address opportunities and challenges within neighborhoods. Other sessions will focus on entrepreneurship, investing in Detroit, regional collaboration, small business resources, and diversification of industry.

Throughout the conference, attendees can visit the Detroit Experience Hall to explore opportunities and initiatives contributing to the city’s turnaround. At the Chamber’s booth, for example, participants can submit their ideas about what the city will look like going forward, Martinez says.

Following the conclusion of the formal program at 3 p.m., a reception will pair attendees with the city council members, Martinez says.

To access online registration, which closes today at 1 p.m., click here. Tickets can also be purchased on-site the day of the event.